Install Theme

Everybody Wants to be Us

Graduate Student at Loyola University Chicago. Check out the blog for what I'm currently obsessed with in film and culture. Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet, Christian Bale, Jesse Eisenberg, David Lynch, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Daniel Radcliffe are regulars here.

#emma stone

Getting Up at 7am Tomorrow.

Oscar Nominations will be announced tomorrow at 8:30am EST by 2013 Oscar Host Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone.  

It’s early, but this is the official start to the season. 

Watch it live : http://www.popsugar.com/2013-Oscar-Nominations-Live-Stream-Video-26659108

Crossing my fingers for Leonardo DiCaprio, David O. Russell, and Judi Dench. 

Ladies in RED.

MET Costume Gala- May 7, 2012

Emma Stone and Hilary Swank

Working red to their advantage.

BEST PICTURES REVIEWED: “The Help”

myfilmhabit:

The Help, directed by Tate Taylor, succeeds as a women’s picture capturing the moments of sorrow and grace played out in bedrooms, kitchen tables, and living room parlors. However in terms of its social causes, The Help has little to offer in illuminating racial or class discrimination. The film tells several stories which meet in the collaboration of two African American maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, and a white aspiring writer, Skeeter Phelan to document the treatment of black domestics in Jackson, Mississippi around 1963.  The film at parts may get you riled- a nasty comment or hasty judgment may even earn your ire, but the film really wants your heartstrings pulled tautly and often.


The Help does little harm and is a sight better than the white protagonist centered narratives like The Ghosts of Mississippi or Amistad, mostly because of the strong performances from Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer as Aibileen and Minny.  Davis takes this role and turns into something magical.  Like her turn in Doubt, Davis can do a lot with little, while completely breaking your heart in longer, emotional scenes.  In one scene, Aibileen implores Skeeter not to give up on writing their book, telling a horrific story of her son’s death.  The lines on the page aren’t much, but Davis injects such sorrow, anger, and pride into that scene, it doesn’t much matter what she says- only what we feel. Octavia Spencer as Minny gets the funner role, rolling off sarcastic lines, sassy looks, and memorable phrases (mostly surrounding a certain flavor of pie).  However, Spencer is more than comic relief, getting some real moments of compassion and frustration.  

Emma Stone is quite good here, but her story line never matches what Davis is bringing.  Skeeter’s an outsider on the inside of Jackson’s elite community.  She wants to write about something that  ”disturbs her particularly if it doesn’t seem to bother anyone else,” assuming she’s the only one bothered by segregation and racism.  Yet, her curiosity about Aibileen’s life and hardships seems genuine and rooted in her own upbringing by an African American domestic, played by the legend Cicely Tyson. Stone gets a tacked on romantic storyline, meant to show how her social conscious affects her love life, but it just doesn’t amount to much.  

Along with Davis and Stone, The Help features a host of stunning performances by Hollywood’s greatest actresses and delightful newcomers.  I loved Jessica Chastain (the enigmatic ginger from Tree Of Life) as Celia Foote.  I was never sure how Ceila fit into the story and I’m not sure she needed to be there, yet I came to miss Chastain’s bubbly, guileless, and heartwarming persona when she wasn’t on screen.  Bryce Dallas Howard, an actress I really like, is quite good here as southern mean girl Hilly Holbrook.  In a final scene with Davis, Aibileen calls Hilly “A God-less woman!,” Howard recoils at the whooping recrimination from Davis, yet before she can regain her bully powers, Davis follows with a softer, but even more powerful punch asking, “Aren’t you tired?”  Howard begins to melt before us, showing even this hated person has some issues of her own.  Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek get applause worthy stands in the film as well.  

So when you see The Help bring your Kleenex, but leave your protest signs at home.

Elizabeth Bennet: Zombie Assassin

Not that Lively would make a good Elizabeth Bennet Zombie Assassin, but I’m surprised that no one wants to take this role. The book is brilliant, funny, and gory.  Elizabeth Bennet is one of the greatest characters in all of literature.  I’d like to see Elizabeth Olsen or Emma Watson in the adaptation personally.

totalfilm:

Blake Lively passes on Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

First Natalie Portman dropped out. Then Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska and Rooney Mara passed.
 
Now Blake Lively has become the latest actress to turn down Pride And Prejudice And Zombies.
 
It’s taken her longer than most to pass on the project – she was offered the part two weeks ago – but she’s come to the same conclusion as every other hot property in Hollywood.

[FOR THE FULL STORY, CLICK ON BLAKE OR FOLLOW THIS LINK]

The Women of The Help
The Help is a good film because of the great actresses that appear in it.  Here’s where to see these great ladies in films yet to come or to catch up with their earlier work.
Viola Davis
Plays: The sturdy and resolute Aibileen Clark- heart and soul of the film.
Memorable Roles: The ambivalent mother of a black student suspected of being an abuse victim by the school’s pastor in Doubt.  
Next Project:  She’s appearing in the adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close directed by The Hours' Stephen Daldry.  I'm a huge Foer fan and adored his second novel.  Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock lead the cast.  Seeing Davis on the cast makes me even more curious about this film.
Emma Stone
Plays: Aspiring writer Skeeter Phelan
Memorable Roles: The wonderfully witty and incredibly winning Olive in Easy A.
Next Projects: Her career is on fire right now.  She’s dying her ginger licks blond to play Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy in the Amazing Spider Man (played by Bryce Dallas Howard in Spider-Man 3) and going 50’s period tough in Gangster Squad with Sean Penn.
Octavia Spencer
Plays: Sassy, no nonsense Minny Jackson
Memorable Roles:  Not really familiar with her work, but has many film and TV credits, crossing genres and types.
Next Projects: Nothing really enitcing yet, hopefully The Help will help her career.  She definitely has the talent.
Jessica Chastain
Plays: The bubbly and lovable Celia Foote.
Memorable Roles: Enigmatic ginger mother figure in The Tree Of Life.
Next Projects: Another rising star.  She’ll play a younger Helen Mirren in Nazi-Hunter thriller The Debt this fall.  Also Ralph Fiennes’ Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus.
Bryce Dallas Howard
Plays: The Southern mean girl and queen bee Hilly Holbrook
Memorable Roles: Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 and love interest for Matt Damon in Hereafter.
Next Projects: Ok, I’m kind of a huge fan of Howard, but she hasn’t yet done anything that great.  She’s appearing in the Joseph Gordon Levitt comedy about cancer 50/50.  I hope she gets more great roles like her Hilly in The Help.  I couldn’t help but think she should join Mad Men. She really blends into the period.  She and Joan Holloway could take on the town, 60’s style.
Sissy Spacek
Plays: Batty but irreverent mother of Hilly Holbrook, Mrs. Walters.
Memorable Roles: She’s a living legend.  My favorite is the innocent and troubled Carrie White in Brian De Palma’s Carrie
Next Projects: Her next credit is Blackbird, a thriller and drama coming in 2012.
Allison Janney
Plays: Quick witted and henpecking mother of Skeeter Phelan, Charlotte Phelan.
Memorable Roles: The voice of the president as CJ Cregg on The West Wing.
Next Projects: Appearing in a smattering of quirky comedies in the next few years.

The Women of The Help

The Help is a good film because of the great actresses that appear in it.  Here’s where to see these great ladies in films yet to come or to catch up with their earlier work.

Viola Davis

  • Plays: The sturdy and resolute Aibileen Clark- heart and soul of the film.
  • Memorable Roles: The ambivalent mother of a black student suspected of being an abuse victim by the school’s pastor in Doubt.  
  • Next Project:  She’s appearing in the adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close directed by The Hours' Stephen Daldry.  I'm a huge Foer fan and adored his second novel.  Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock lead the cast.  Seeing Davis on the cast makes me even more curious about this film.

Emma Stone

  • Plays: Aspiring writer Skeeter Phelan
  • Memorable Roles: The wonderfully witty and incredibly winning Olive in Easy A.
  • Next Projects: Her career is on fire right now.  She’s dying her ginger licks blond to play Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy in the Amazing Spider Man (played by Bryce Dallas Howard in Spider-Man 3) and going 50’s period tough in Gangster Squad with Sean Penn.

Octavia Spencer

  • Plays: Sassy, no nonsense Minny Jackson
  • Memorable Roles:  Not really familiar with her work, but has many film and TV credits, crossing genres and types.
  • Next Projects: Nothing really enitcing yet, hopefully The Help will help her career.  She definitely has the talent.

Jessica Chastain

  • Plays: The bubbly and lovable Celia Foote.
  • Memorable Roles: Enigmatic ginger mother figure in The Tree Of Life.
  • Next Projects: Another rising star.  She’ll play a younger Helen Mirren in Nazi-Hunter thriller The Debt this fall.  Also Ralph Fiennes’ Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus.

Bryce Dallas Howard

  • Plays: The Southern mean girl and queen bee Hilly Holbrook
  • Memorable Roles: Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3 and love interest for Matt Damon in Hereafter.
  • Next Projects: Ok, I’m kind of a huge fan of Howard, but she hasn’t yet done anything that great.  She’s appearing in the Joseph Gordon Levitt comedy about cancer 50/50.  I hope she gets more great roles like her Hilly in The Help.  I couldn’t help but think she should join Mad Men. She really blends into the period.  She and Joan Holloway could take on the town, 60’s style.

Sissy Spacek

  • Plays: Batty but irreverent mother of Hilly Holbrook, Mrs. Walters.
  • Memorable Roles: She’s a living legend.  My favorite is the innocent and troubled Carrie White in Brian De Palma’s Carrie
  • Next Projects: Her next credit is Blackbird, a thriller and drama coming in 2012.

Allison Janney

  • Plays: Quick witted and henpecking mother of Skeeter Phelan, Charlotte Phelan.
  • Memorable Roles: The voice of the president as CJ Cregg on The West Wing.
  • Next Projects: Appearing in a smattering of quirky comedies in the next few years.

The Help (2011)

The Help, directed by Tate Taylor, succeeds as a women’s picture capturing the moments of sorrow and grace played out in bedrooms, kitchen tables, and living room parlors. However in terms of its social causes, The Help has little to offer in illuminating racial or class discrimination. The film tells several stories which meet in the collaboration of two African American maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, and a white aspiring writer, Skeeter Phelan to document the treatment of black domestics in Jackson, Mississippi around 1963.  The film at parts may get you riled- a nasty comment or hasty judgment may even earn your ire, but the film really wants your heartstrings pulled tautly and often.


The Help does little harm and is a sight better than the white protagonist centered narratives like The Ghosts of Mississippi or Amistad, mostly because of the strong performances from Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer as Aibileen and Minny.  Davis takes this role and turns into something magical.  Like her turn in Doubt, Davis can do a lot with little, while completely breaking your heart in longer, emotional scenes.  In one scene, Aibileen implores Skeeter not to give up on writing their book, telling a horrific story of her son’s death.  The lines on the page aren’t much, but Davis injects such sorrow, anger, and pride into that scene, it doesn’t much matter what she says- only what we feel. Octavia Spencer as Minny gets the funner role, rolling off sarcastic lines, sassy looks, and memorable phrases (mostly surrounding a certain flavor of pie).  However, Spencer is more than comic relief, getting some real moments of compassion and frustration.  

Emma Stone is quite good here, but her story line never matches what Davis is bringing.  Skeeter’s an outsider on the inside of Jackson’s elite community.  She wants to write about something that  ”disturbs her particularly if it doesn’t seem to bother anyone else,” assuming she’s the only one bothered by segregation and racism.  Yet, her curiosity about Aibileen’s life and hardships seems genuine and rooted in her own upbringing by an African American domestic, played by the legend Cicely Tyson. Stone gets a tacked on romantic storyline, meant to show how her social conscious affects her love life, but it just doesn’t amount to much.  

Along with Davis and Stone, The Help features a host of stunning performances by Hollywood’s greatest actresses and delightful newcomers.  I loved Jessica Chastain (the enigmatic ginger from Tree Of Life) as Celia Foote.  I was never sure how Ceila fit into the story and I’m not sure she needed to be there, yet I came to miss Chastain’s bubbly, guileless, and heartwarming persona when she wasn’t on screen.  Bryce Dallas Howard, an actress I really like, is quite good here as southern mean girl Hilly Holbrook.  In a final scene with Davis, Aibileen calls Hilly “A God-less woman!,” Howard recoils at the whooping recrimination from Davis, yet before she can regain her bully powers, Davis follows with a softer, but even more powerful punch asking, “Aren’t you tired?”  Howard begins to melt before us, showing even this hated person has some issues of her own.  Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek get applause worthy stands in the film as well.  

So when you see The Help bring your Kleenex, but leave your protest signs at home.

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) *105

Directed by the creative duo that brought us the balls-out funny film I Love You Phillip Morris from last year, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa make another hilarious, sometimes wicked comedy full of heart.  Crazy, Stupid, Love features a parade of different relationships, some inappropriate, but manages to make each vivid and distinct while packing the best moments in the central story around Steve Carell and Julianne Moores characters.  

Moore and Carell play Cal and Emily, high school sweethearts that married, had kids, and find themselves distant strangers.  Emily wants a divorce and Cal quickly and quietly acquiesces.  Cal gets taken in by Jacob (Ryan Gosling) a smooth cad who gives this sad sack a new wardrobe and tutorial on how to pick up women. Bumbling at first, Cal becomes quite the ladies man to the shock of Emily. Meanwhile, Emily is being courted by David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon STILL HOT), a sweet accountant at her job that she had a one-night stand with before asking Cal for the divorce.  

Also theres young Robbie (Jonah Bobo) the son of Emily and Cal who loves his babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) who actually has a crush on Cal- must have been watching The World According to Garp to many times.  Cal has no idea about this, but word of his dalliances encourage young Jessica to make a bold move. Meanwhile, Jacob meets Hannah (Emma Stone) and unsuccessfully tries to pick her up at a bar. Later in the film, Hannah dumps her boyfriend and takes Jacob up on his original offer.  They start dating and Jacob abandons his playboy ways, but seeks help from Cal on how to be the good dependable guy he originally objected to in Cal.

All these romantic entanglements are a set up for a pleasing comedy of errors when all the love flying around begins to collide in some unexpected ways.  Yet the key relationship manages to be Moore and Carell’s.  The ending stretch of the film rightly focuses in on them, tying things up in a heartwarming and believable final scene.  Carell is excellent here as a romantic lead.  Like in Dan in Real Life, a movie I love, Carell has our sympathies no matter if hes being sweet or alienating all the other characters.  Cals flaw, similar to Dan, is his self-righteousness that comes out in lectures to other characters while he breaks his own rules. With Carell there an enduring goodness that keeps the character from drowning.

Julianne Moore is superb in a tricky role.  She starts the film as the person we might hate for cheating on Cal, yet Moore wins us as well pushing Cal to participate in their relationship.  We see Emily through Cals eyes and hope these two can come together. Gosling proves that he can look hot doing just about anything and gives a convincing performance as a lonely cad who changes for the right girl.  Kevin Bacons David gets painted by Cal as a seducer, but turns out to be a sweetheart that we secretly want Emily to give a shot.  Emma Stone isnt in the film enough unfortunately, but is hilarious and cute when she appears. Other side players, Marisa Tomei as a lusty and vengeful middle school teacher and John Carroll Lynch as Jessicas dad deliver great laughs and offer full characters even though their scenes mainly drive the plot.  Even Josh Groban is good as Hannahs clueless douche boyfriend.

Crazy Stupid Love rises above schlocky romantic comedy fare because amid the chaos, Ficarra and Requa focus on the central couple.  Multi plotted stories like Hes Just Not That Into You fall flat for having too many stories with none being fully developed.  I left the theater feeling like I knew Emily and Cal, like new friends from a great dinner party.  Also, Ficarra and Requa have a rare talent of balancing wicked humor with sweetness.  Aside from Emily and Cal, every other characters romantic pursuit sways to the inappropriate sphere, yet I felt like each person was well intentioned and not too creepy.  When you find yourself rooting for a 13-year-old kid winning the heart (someday) of his 17-year-old baby sitter you know you are in the hands of a master. 


© Everybody Wants to be Us

Theme by Dubious Radical